Understanding my SHAPE, understanding me
Today’s lesson continues from yesterday.
I have found that since I have been uniquely made, no other person God created could play the role the Lord created me for, so if I don’t play the unique role He has created me for in the body of Christ, no other person will [a truth that must be at the back of our minds constantly] – [1 Corinth. 12 vs. 4 – 6 – There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but the same God works all of them in all men.].I also understood that God equipped me with Spiritual gifts and a Heart (passion) as part of the capabilities used in serving Him.
In today’s lesson the rest of the capabilities will be looked at: Ability, Personality and Experience.
I found that my abilities are the natural talents that I have been born with, such as my natural athletic abilities and excelling in physical co-ordination. For others their capabilities include solving problems mathematically or mechanics. Still others include artistic capabilities, all abilities that come from God given to us to be used in serving Him [Ex. 31 vs. 3-5 – ; Rom. 12 vs. 6- We have different gifts, according to the grace given us. If a man’s gift is prophesying, let him use it in proportion to his faith]. The only difference between these and the previously mentioned capabilities is that it is given to us at birth; and our ability if used properly (i.e. not misused) can be used for the glory of God – [1 Corinth. 10 vs. 31 – So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God; 1 Corinth. 12 vs. 6].
With this in mind we need to find where we can use our speciality to shine, to be used for the glory of God [Even in making money through business – Deut. 8 vs. 18 – But remember the LORD your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth, and so confirms his covenant, which he swore to your forefathers, as it is today; Deut. 14 vs. 23; Malachi 3 vs. 8 – 11 ]; since He has already equipped us with our abilities for His purpose – [Heb. 13 vs. 21]. With this in mind, in order to discover God’s will for my life I therefore need to seriously examine what am good at doing and what I’m not good at, since He will never ask me to dedicate my life to a task I have no talent for. Subsequently, the talent I do have are strong indications of what God wants me to do with my life, which are clues of knowing God’s will for my life. I know for example that I am good at drawing or organising, I guess it safe to assume that God’s plan includes these skills, because He doesn’t waste abilities [1 Pet. 4 vs. 10].
The Next capability I looked at was Personality. I found that since we are as individual as our DNA, a variety of people with different combination of personalities – [1 Corinth. 12 vs. 6]; we will sometimes have interpersonal conflicts. This is why our personality affects how and where we use our gifts; and why mimicking others will not work for each of us, however, we can learn from their examples, but need to filter what we learn through our own capability.
Finally our Experience is also a vital capability, as; most of our experiences which have been beyond our control have shaped us in one way or another – [Rom. 8 vs. 28 – 29 – And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.]. So in determining our SHAPE for serving God we need to examine: Family experiences (what we learned growing up); Educational experiences (our Favourite subject in school); Vocational experiences (what jobs have we been most affected in and enjoyed); Spiritual experiences (what have been our most meaningful times with God); Ministry experience (how have we served God in the past); and finally Painful experiences (what problems, hurts, thorns and trials have we learned from?).
Examining our painful experiences to a great extent, is important, as God uses these experiences the most to prepare us for ministry, since He never wastes a hurt [When we think about it, who can better minister to someone battling with lust except for someone who fought that demon and found freedom]. So God intentionally allows us to go through painful experiences to equip us for our ministry to others – [2 Corinth. 1 vs. 4 – who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God].
In summary – If I really desire to be used by God I must understand that the very experiences that I have resented or regretted most in life – the ones I’ve always wanted to hide and forget are the experiences God wants me to use to help others – [2 Corinth. 1 vs. 8 – 10]. So I ask you, what will you do with what happened to you?
In concluding, I am told I will be most effective when I use my spiritual gifts and abilities in the area of my hearts desire, and in a way that best expresses my personality and experiences. As the better the fit, the more successful I will be.